SBD/June 20, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

A Whole New Meaning To V-Neck: Williams Again Turns Heads For Wimbledon Fashion

Williams debuts "billowy" outfit during her opening match at Wimbledon
Venus Williams won her first-round Wimbledon match today 6-3 6-1 over Akgul Amanmuradova, and Williams “wore a tennis dress with a V neck in front and an upside-down V opening in back,” according to John Martin of NYTIMES.com (6/20). ESPN’s Pam Shriver, who served as a courtside reporter for the Williams-Amanmuradova match, said of Williams, “The last couple years we have been used to her coming out with some unique styles with the fashion. I was working on trying to describe this number, but I am still working on that. That’ll happen in the second set.” Shriver later in the first set said, “Still working on my fashion report, but one thing: I’m wondering if the ‘V’ is for Venus. I mean, it’s sort of all over this outfit, the front, the back, the arms. That’s part of my work I’ve been laboring over.” ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale said of Amanmuradova, “As you can see from her dress, she -- and these are some of her words -- she is not in ‘the glamour game for women.’” Drysdale quoted Amanmuradova as saying, “I always wear shorts and a T-shirt, no skirts for me.” Drysdale: “Frankly, it’s pretty shocking for people who see her for the first time because she dresses so much like a man.” ESPN’s Brad Gilbert said Williams’ outfit was a “foot fault.” Gilbert: “I know that she changes her outfits almost every match. … It doesn’t look very comfortable. I’m ready for fashion outfit No. 2.” ESPN’s Chris Fowler: “It looks like she could leap off the roof of Centre Court and land safely on the ground. It’s billowy. We’re just going to give her a fashion yellow card” (“Wimbledon,” ESPN2, 6/20). The BBC’s Chris Bevan writes Williams was “wearing an outfit that resembled a pair of my mum's old curtains” (BBC.co.uk, 6/20).

A SISTER ACT? Serena Williams plays her first-round match tomorrow, and in Miami, Greg Cote wrote "all eyes" will be on her as she "returns from injury to defend her championship.” Cote: “Well, all eyes will be on her unless she is wearing one of those ghastly outfits for which she is known, in which case all eyes will gladly divert” (MIAMI HERALD, 6/19).

POLO BLUE: In London, Alexandra Willis notes Polo Ralph Lauren has outfitted “ball boys and girls in brand new navy blue uniform” in celebration of the 125th Wimbledon Championships. Polo “has been designing the Wimbledon attire, for the umpires as well, since 2006, going for elegance and tradition in their outfits -- a marked improvement on the rather schoolmarmish dresses of the past.” Navy blue jackets, polo shirts and shorts “are adorned with '125th’ on the collar and the 125th logo on the arm, and the polo in particular features the Wimbledon purple and green for the first time in a 'don’t-miss’ diagonal stripe across the middle” (London TELEGRAPH, 6/20).
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